Frequently Asked Questions
Several types of tests can be conducted to determine if someone has vascular disease. Here are the most commonly searched tests:
- Angiogram, a contrast dye-based X-ray procedure that can be both diagnostic and therapeutic. It is considered the gold standard for detecting and evaluating blockages in the arterial system. The procedure provides information that helps your vascular surgeon determine your best treatment options. Angiograms are typically performed while you are sedated. The procedure may last 15-20 minutes or up to several hours, depending on how difficult the test is and how much treatment is given.
- Ankle-Brachial Index or ABI Test, a quick non-invasive test to check for Peripheral Artery Disease compares blood pressure at the ankle with that at the arm. A low number can indicate narrowing or blockage of the arteries in your leg. For patients with non-healing foot wounds and diabetes, pressures in the toes themselves can even be measured noninvasively (TP or TPI).
- Carotid Duplex, a noninvasive test to see and measure the rate at which blood flows through your carotid arteries to look for possible blockages.
- Duplex Ultrasound, a noninvasive measure of blood flow of veins and arteries.
- Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) and Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) Tests, advanced imaging studies that provide detailed information about the blood vessels and their anatomic relationships with other organs.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA), when an area of the aorta becomes very large or balloons out. AAA’s are highly hereditary.
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency, when valves in the veins (usually in the leg or sometimes the arms) don’t work, causing blood to pool in legs, putting increased pressure on the walls of the veins.
- Aortoiliac Occlusive Disease, blockage of the aorta or the iliac arteries. The iliac arteries are the branches that your aorta divides into around the level of the belly button to provide blood to your legs and the organs in your pelvis. This blockage is typically caused by a buildup of plaque within the walls of the blood vessels.
- Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.), when plaque narrows the passageway within the arteries and causes them to become stiff limiting the blood flow or circulation to the legs. P.A.D. can cause pain or aching in the legs, difficulty with walking, resting pain in the feet, non-healing sores or infections in the toes or feet.
- Driver’s license or State ID
- Insurance information
- Copies of any symptom related medical records (x-rays, MRIs, CT scans)
- Medications list (if any)
As a convenience to our patients we provide several services in our offices. All clinics offer a comprehensive in-office vascular ultrasound testing labs. Several of our locations have outpatient Cath Lab interventional suites where our physicians can perform procedures previously restricted to a hospital setting. We also have an in office prosthetic department that can provide prosthetic care. All these services can potentially be performed on the same day as you appointment if allowed by your insurance provider.
PVA physicians understand that vascular disease can have a complex presentation and that the best treatment is not always straight forward. PVA physicians are available to evaluate patients and provide a second opinion and go over all of the treatment options with patients, ensuring that all of their questions are answered.